Pi Attitude Zone: Self-Fulfilment

Out Of The Pan-Flation And Into The Fire

In previous posts, Pi has talked about the problem of a global clothing industry that measures its dress and pants sizes with a ‘rubber ruler’.

The inflation problem, however, is more widespread than you might think.  The food industry, airlines, the hotel trade… even education systems and the employment market all have their own subtle ways of inflating seemingly reliable metrics for their own ends.  And they are not the only guilty industries.  The Economist magazine recently gave the problem the collective name of panflation, i.e. “the inflation of everything”.

First, take a look at food portions as offered for sale.  Remember the quaint old days when ordering a pizza was a matter of small, medium and large?  The equivalents are now regular, large and variations on ‘giant’.

It’s been a while since there has been a “small” option available in beverages, with Starbucks’ sizing starting with ‘Tall’.  A soda at a 7-Eleven convenience store opens with Gulps (20 oz) and Big Gulps (30 oz), and carries on up to their X-Treme Gulp size. 

There used to be a convention among hotel chains that “de luxe” meant luxurious, “four-star” signified something exceptional, and “five-star” was about as good things were ever going to get.  Then along came panflation.  “De luxe” now means standard (i.e. pretty spartan), and the scale rises dizzyingly all the way up to “imperial spectacular” or “grand superior luxury”. 

Airlines, for their part, will go through the most ingenious linguistic contortions before they’ll admit they offer anything as lowly as “economy class”.  This doesn’t make “world traveler class” any less cramped, however.

Educational institutions are not immune from so-called grade inflation, with the same academic performance level typically being awarded three times as many ‘A’ grades as a generation earlier.  And Human resources departments in big corporations have recently presided over their own job-title inflation trend.  Would a ticket-inspector, when offered a ‘promotion’ to *gasp* Senior Revenue Protection Supervisor, be churlish enough to expect a pay rise as well?  Or a receptionist newly designated a First Impressions Officer?  Yet chiefs are still chiefs, and indians are still indians, no matter what it says on their business cards.

Pi says: stay vigilant as panflation engulfs us all.  More is probably less.

Zone: Self-Fulfilment Country: Multiple Geographies Product –